How to reprogram a BMW key fob

Updated March 23, 2017

The instructions to program the keyless entry fob on one BMW model won’t necessarily work on another BMW model. You can try one of two sets of instructions and see if they work for your BMW. Your aim is to avoid resorting to the dealership, which may charge £32 to £65 for the service.

Make sure that all the doors, boot and bonnet are closed.

Open the boot door. Open and close the driver’s door.

Put the key in the ignition cylinder and turn it on and off five times. Don’t actually start the engine. The alarm should chirp a confirmation.

Open and close the driver’s door.

Press any button on the remote to program it. The alarm light will flash to acknowledge a successful programming.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 for any other remotes.

Exit the programming mode by leaving the driver’s door open while closing the boot door. Then close the driver’s door. You should hear the alarm sound off to confirm that you’ve left the programming mode.

Make sure that all the doors, boot and bonnet are closed.

Insert the key into the ignition and switch it to position 1. Turn it back again. Repeat this four more times. Then remove the key from the ignition cylinder.

Press the “Lock” button three times while holding down the “Unlock” button. Then release the “Unlock” button. The door locks will then cycle to confirm that you did it correctly.

Repeat step 3 for each fob that you need to program.

Exit the programming mode by inserting the key into the ignition and turning it to position 1 and then taking it out.


If neither set of instructions works for your car, find your car online at, or call up dealerships to see if anyone will give you instructions over the phone. Otherwise, you may have to bring the car into the dealership, where the staff will program your fobs for a fee.

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About the Author

Paul Dohrman's academic background is in physics and economics. He has professional experience as an educator, mortgage consultant, and casualty actuary. His interests include development economics, technology-based charities, and angel investing.